Deadline for tax extended

Freddy Legodi

Freddy Legodi

Taxpayers now have 14 more days, until February 5, to submit their income tax returns.

Initially today was the official closing date for the 2008 filing season through e-filing, an online filing system.

Sars spokesman Adrian Lackay said they expected more people to submit their tax forms before the new closing date.

"To date 850000 tax returns have been submitted via e-filing and Sars expects that the number might more than double before the extended submission deadline," Lackay said.

He said many taxpayers required assistance from Sars with their e-filing log-on and password details.

"This is putting immense pressure on the Sars call centre," Lackay said.

Sars has again appealed to taxpayers, as well as tax practitioners, who have forgotten their passwords or log-on details to visit, where they can resolve the problem online rather than over the phone.

Lackay said that the Sars call centre could handle up to 500 queries simultaneously, but it was currently receiving many more calls than usual because taxpayers and tax practitioners had again waited until the last minute to fill in their income tax returns.

"Additional call centre agents have been deployed," he said.

Lackay said that since the beginning of the year, Sars had received numerous requests from tax consultants for more time to submit their clients' tax returns.

"Taxpayers using e-filing have 14 more days to submit their tax returns.

"Taxpayers who encounter problems with the call centre and e-filing are advised to go to their nearest Sars branch office, where they will be assisted," Lackay said.

Sars has made a special request to and urged taxpayers who call their call centre to please be patient and considerate while they are being assisted.